Rick Scott tries again to replace McConnell as Senate Republican leader

By Jen Krausz on
 May 23, 2024

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) is trying again to replace Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), but this time McConnell is actually retiring.

“I have decided to run for Senate Republican leader because I believe now is a moment we need dramatic change,” Scott said in the letter, obtained by the Washington Examiner. “I believe that our voters want us to use this leadership election to make a choice to upend the status quo in Washington.”

Scott has to overcome the natural successors to McConnell: Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-SD) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), a former whip.

But he is running to the right of those leaders, and he is criticizing McConnell's habit of cutting "backroom deals" with Democrats, which has been divisive.

Scott said he would work to unite the party around its grassroots in conservatism. The election will be held this fall ahead of McConnell stepping down in November.

The Florida lawmaker will call on his alliance with Trump for support in the race for leader. He met with Trump at Mar-A-Lago after McConnell announced he would leave his leadership post.